Recently we had an interview with Dr.Nivedita Pandey, a renowned nutritionist, gastroenterologist as well as a hepatologist. Being a US-trained doctor, she would like to continue her career in India and her holistic approach towards her patients makes her the best in her field. We are honored to get a piece of time from her busy schedule and would like the share a glimpse of our conversation with you 🙂

Please tell us a little about you and your journey as a nutritionist, gastroenterologist, and hepatologist?

I was trained in the USA and worked there before returning to India. After 12 years, I am a mother of a 5-year-old and also a full-time working woman so I understand the challenges of trying to balance personal health, profession, and family. Every day is a new challenge and I strive each day to try to achieve that balance.

What are some common health issues you come across in your female patients after they become mothers? And how can these be avoided?

Motherhood is a glorious experience but also very difficult. Most of us tend to neglect our health while trying to be there for our families.

  • Some of the common issues are Acid reflux: As you know pregnancy and nursing are periods of rapid weight changes, sleep cycle and meal timings are disturbed, this can lead to acid reflux.
  • Another issue is that of constipation, in nursing mothers dehydration is a common issue that can lead to constipation. Also, this is a period when the pelvic floor is very weak as it is recovering from labor and delivery, this can cause worsening constipation.
  • Piles/haemorrhoids: Perianal discomfort is very common during this time, this is usually a direct result of constipation and straining for stool.

Being a nutritionist how do you plan your family’s dietary needs?

I believe in balance, it’s important to have a diet plan that is tasty, affordable, and compatible with the family’s taste and culture. I ensure we all eat three meals a day. We ensure the meals have some carbs, fat, and protein. We always have an evening snack of salads. We allow ourselves one cheat meal a week to satisfy our cravings.

Is there a patient anecdote you would like to share to illustrate your work?

I saw a young mother with severe perianal discomfort when her baby was 3 months old. She told me that she was having severe constipation and had been straining for stool resulting in bleeding per rectum and pain. On examination, she was found to have an anal fissure. She recovered with medicines and good dietary advice.

What does healthy mean to you? 

Healthy is global fitness. It’s about feeling energetic, being happy, sleeping well, being productive in our family life and our profession. 

What is something that you wish more women knew about diet and self-care?

The most important mantra is to take care of yourself! If you don’t do it, no one else will. 

Take out at least 15 minutes a day to do what you like, it might be sleeping, reading, taking a walk. 

Most important as soon as advised by your gynecologist start to strengthen your pelvic floor to avoid constipation and incontinence of urine and stool later in life

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